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Safari Search Engine: Is Safari a Search Engine? Find it Out

Updated on Wednesday, April 24, 2024

iBoysoft author Jessica Shee

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Jessica Shee

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All You Need to Know About Safari Search Engine

Summary: This article from iBoysoft introduces Safari and answers the question "Is Safari a search engine". Additionally, you can learn more about the Safari search engine including how to change the default search engine on Safari.

What is Safari

If you are an Apple product user, you must be familiar with the Safari app and often use it for browsing websites and searching for useful information on the Internet. Therefore, it is common that many people mistake Safari for a search engine.

This article provides a precise answer to the question "Is Safari a search engine" and explains more about Safari search engine. Keep reading.

Is Safari a search engine?

No, Safari is not a search engine but a web browser. It can be used to access search engines, but it is not a search engine itself. You can also use Safari to access websites that are not search engines. For example, you can use it to visit your favorite social media sites, news websites, or online shopping stores.

But why Safari looks like a search engine? Safari sometimes sets its homepage to a search engine's website or has a search bar prominently displayed on its interface. Despite the similarities, Safari is ultimately a web browser.

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What is Safari?

Safari is a web browser developed by Apple. It is built into Apple's operating systems, including macOS, iOS, and iPadOS, and is the default web browser for Apple products. Safari was introduced in Mac OS X Panther in 2003. The Windows version lasted between 2007 and 2012 and was discontinued.

 To understand why Safari is not a search engine but a web browser, you should understand the difference between a search engine and a web browser.

What is a web browser?

A web browser is a software application on your device for accessing websites on the World Wide Web. After you type in the address of a webpage into the browser's address bar and press Return, you are requesting the website's server to obtain the content of that webpage. The web browser will send your request to the website's server and then the server will send back and render the website's files, which the browser then displays on your screen.

This tool helps you view and interact with the web. Without web browsers, you cannot conduct any activities online that require a website address located on a web server. Some of the most popular web browsers are Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.

What is a search engine?

What is a search engine

A search engine is a website or a software system that helps users to find information on the World Wide Web. It sends out software bots, also known as spiders or crawlers, to constantly visit the entire web and collect information on each webpage, and then index the data to its database. When you enter a specific search request on a search engine, the search engine will systematically present you with a line of results, a mix of hyperlinks to web pages, images, videos, articles, and other types of files, to match your query.

This tool helps you quickly search the World Wide Web for particular information. Without search engines, it will be very difficult to find information and navigate through the internet. Some of the most popular search engines are Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and DuckDuckGo.

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Safari default search engine: what is it and how to change?

You are not limited to using a single search engine with a web browser, but one is usually configured as the default. Safari is not an exception.

Safari uses Google as its default search engine. It means that every time you type a query in the search box, you are googling to find the specific information.

How to know Safari's default search engine

Step 1. Open the Safari app on your Mac.

Step 2. Select Safari from the top menu bar (next to the Apple logo) and select Settings (or Preferences).

Safari settings

Step 3. Go to the Search tab on the Safari Settings screen.

Step 4. Check the Search Engine section to find out which search engine is your Safari default search engine.

Safari default search engine

How to change the default search engine in Safari

Google is not your only option when you want to find out something online through Safari.
To change Safari's default search engine:

Step 1. Open Safari on Mac > Safari in the menu bar > Settings > Search.

Step 2. Click the Search engine dropdown menu and choose from Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, Ecosia, and other available search engines.

If you want to use another search engine in Safari but don't want to change the default search engine preference, it is possible to quickly switch between search engines in Safari. In the Safari settings, make sure the "Include search engine suggestions" option under the Search tab is selected.

All you need to do is to open Safari, select the address bar, and press the space bar on your keyboard. This will display a dropdown menu where you can select a search engine option.

change Safari default search engine

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To sum up, Safari is not a search engine but a fast, secure, and private web browser, particularly optimized for Apple devices. While its default search engine is Google, you can change Safari's default search engine to any other search engine or conveniently switch Safari search engines from the address bar.

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How to Clear Browsing/Search History on Mac



The default search engine for Safari is Google, but you have alternatives including DuckDuckGo, Bing, Ecosia, and Yahoo.


You can use a third-party Safari extension to change the search engine used by Safari. Safari only allows you to use the supported search engine options and you can't directly add a custom search engine with Safari.


Safari uses Google as the default search engine because Apple and Google have a long-standing partnership. Google pays Apple billions of dollars every year to be the default search engine on Apple products.